Dallas Police Shooting: Five Things To Know As The City Moves Forward
Here are five things you should know about the deadly shooting in downtown Dallas: more on the suspected shooter; President Obama to visit Dallas; Sunday a day of reflection in churches; and more.
1. Micah Xavier Johnson, the suspected shooter, wrote cryptic lettering in his own blood on the walls of the parking garage where Dallas police later killed him, chief David Brown told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. Investigators are looking through Johnson’s Mesquite home for possible clues as to what the letters “RB” scrawled in the 25-year-old Army veteran’s blood as well as other evidence inside the house means.
On the program Sunday, Brown also defended the unprecedented method police used to kill Johnson in the parking garage — a bomb delivered by a robot. "We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was," Brown said. [The Associated Press, The Texas Tribune, KERA News]
2. President Obama is coming to Dallas Tuesday at the invitation of Mayor Mike Rawlings. The president will deliver remarks at an interfaith memorial service at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, The Associated Press reported. Obama was attending a NATO summit in Poland at the time of the sniper attack. He cut his trip to Spain a day early to address the recent series of deadly shootings in the U.S. He said “protesters who attack police officers are doing a disservice to their cause,” according to AP, and described shooter Micah Johnson as a “demented individual,” according to NPR. [The Associated Press, NPR]
3. The Dallas Police Department has low records of police brutality and officer-involved shootings. According to data from the Dallas Police Department, the number of complaints alleging excessive and improper use of force has fallen from 147 in 2009 to 13 through mid-November of 2015. And, the number of shootings involving police went from 23 in 2012 to just one this year before Thursday, NPR reported. Mayor Mike Rawlings said the department has been training in de-escalation rather than confrontation, and it strives to be transparent with the public. However, according to data by the Better Government Association, from 2010 through 2014, Dallas had one of the highest rates of killings by police in the country, when adjusted for population (2.7 per 100,000 residents). [NPR, KERA News]
4. One of the civilian victims shared her experience with reporters on Sunday. Shetamia Taylor was in the downtown crowd with her sons Thursday night. NBC News reports: "Taylor made sure to run behind the crowd to keep tabs on all her sons. But then a bullet pierced her right calf mid-stride. Taylor tackled her son Andrew, lunging her body over his while taking cover between the surrounding parked cars to protect him from the spray of shots. Police officers came rushing to their side and jumped on top of the mother and son to form a human shield. Protected under the layer of police, Taylor saw bullets strike another officer and his body fall to the ground. 'It was hundreds of rounds. I had never heard of anything like that before,'" Taylor said.
5. Across Dallas and all of North Texas, pastors called for unity, healing and love during Sunday services. At First Presbyterian Church, Rev. Joe Clifford preached that it's time for congregations to come together. “What keeps us from loving one another? Well, it is very hard to love one another when we seldom see each other,” Clifford says. “When our lives are so, so segregated, how can we love those we rarely see?” Read more about Sunday's services from KERA.
For more coverage of the downtown Dallas shooting, visit this page of stories from KERA and NPR.